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at its quietest the air moves
in eddies, isolated
short currents, streams with dead spots ...
Each leaf in a given bunch
is behaving diff erently;
none are the same size or shape,
all are versions; one fl apping
while another seems to whirl
though in fact it oscillates;
another swings hectically
back and forth while its neighbor
hangs still; one fl ops over and
back, now, slowly; another
vibrates, the whole cluster sways.
I single out one leaf: it
begins to tremble, then wags
violently. The breezes
start, quit, and start up again
all afternoon. The musings
of the tree, on one calm day.
Now agitation up high;
below, not a leaf moves. Now
a breeze pours through the whole tree
and it rattles -- the polished
leaves clash stiffl
y together.
Is all this movement purely
decorative. Is a leaf